Themes of The Odyssey
- One of the major themes of the Odyssey is revenge. What incidents of this do you see? How are they similar and how do they contrast with each other? What does this tell us about the concept of justice in Homer's world?
- Odysseus interacts with a number of female figures, including Kalypso, Circe, Nausikaa, Arete, Athena, Eurykleia, and Penelope. In what ways is his behavior toward them similar, and in what ways is it different, and why? What does this tell us about his character, and/or how does it impact our interpretation of the poem?
- Some scholars have claimed that the first four books of the Odyssey were originally a separate poem. What evidence do you see to the contrary? What thematic material is introduced in these books that is developed in subsequent ones?
- How does the concept of human volition function in the Odyssey? To what extent are men responsible for their own actions in Homer's Odyssey? To what extent are the gods responsible for men's actions?
Format for the Themes
Format for Themes of the Odyssey Research Paper:
- All papers are to be written with size 12 font and 1 inch margins, and are to be double spaced.
- They must also have an appropriate title (i.e., one that indicated the paper's Themes of the Odyssey) and numbered pages; additionally your name, the date, and the course title should appear in the upper left corner of the first page. You do not have to use outside sources, but if you do, it will be necessary to include a "works cited" page.
- Organization: Make sure that your thesis is clearly and precisely stated in the introductory paragraph. All paragraphs should have a Themes of the Odyssey sentence that describes what will be addressed in that paragraph, and all paragraphs should directly relate to the thesis. Both paragraphs and sentences should flow smoothly and logically from one to the next. Your concluding paragraph should both summarize your paper and suggest further implications. The book and line numbers of all quoted passages should be included in parentheses at the end of the quote.
- Content: Your paper should be thesis-driven, meaning that everything you write should have a clear connection to your thesis. Make sure the reasoning of your argument is easy to follow. It is necessary to support your claims with sufficient evidence from the text (i.e., quoted passages). Feel free to include in your paper any comments or issues that have been raised in class, however it is crucial to incorporate your own ideas. Avoid over-generalizations/exaggerations and plot-padding, and always keep your audience (i.e. me!) in mind.
- Style: Be sure to maintain an impersonal, academic tone throughout. Choose your words carefully and use vocabulary appropriate for academic writing. Also be sure to proofread your paper and correct all spelling and grammatical mistakes, as these will negatively impact your grade.